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While the 2020 NFL Draft will no longer be physically held in Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 outbreak, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some prop betting action over the course of the three-day event. With it being a foregone conclusion that the Cincinnati Bengals will take Joe Burrow with the first overall pick, the draft really starts when the Washington Redskins are on the clock at pick two. What Washington ultimately decides to do with that pick will likely determine the fate of the Chase Young Draft Position prop (odds courtesy of BetMGM).
Chase Young Draft Position Odds
The odds on this prop tell the story. Bettors will be forced to pay a premium to side with Chase Young as one of the first two players selected. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that many experts have labeled him as the best prospect in the entire draft class.
Young starred in his time at Ohio State, and 2019 was his best statistical year of all. He amassed 46 total tackles, including 32 solo, 16.5 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles. Outside of the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson, no team could effectively slow him down.
Young’s performance earned him multiple awards and accolades, including first-team AP All-American recognition. Young was also a finalist for the Maxwell Award, given to the best all-around College Football player. As you can imagine, being named a finalist is a rarity for defensive players.
Young measures in at 6’5” and 264 lbs., with 10” hands, a nearly 34-inch wingspan, and NFL-ready athleticism. He plays with an amazing blend of fluidity and explosiveness. His technique for shedding would-be blocks is second to none. His prowess as a pass rusher is furthered by his ability to play quick and long. This expands his rush radius and results in his being able to get to opposing quarterbacks around wide pockets.
To top it all off, Young stops the run too. Opposing backs rarely escaped his menacing grip once he corralled them between the trenches.
Put it all together, and you have the makings of an NFL superstar.
The Case for Under 2.5
The Washington Redskins, owners of the number two overall pick, haven’t had many franchise cornerstones to build around in recent memory. Washington allowed an average of 27.2 points per game on defense last season, with that number ballooning to 41.7 over the final three games. Insert an elite pass-rusher like Young, and the game immediately gets that much harder for opposing offenses.
The Redskins finished in the top 10 in sacks last year with 46. Young’s presence on the edge should open up more lines to the quarterback, and, in turn, give the secondary a boost in coverage.
With both Dwayne Haskins and the newly acquired Kyle Allen on the roster as quarterbacks, the Redskins’ draft focus will be taking the best player available. Since the Bengals are primed to take Burrow, that best player at No. 2 will be Young. While he alone can’t solve all of the Redskins’ issues, he is certainly a great way to start a rebuild.
The Case for Over 2.5
What might cause this generational talent to slide beyond the first two draft selections? Just as the Bengals will pass up on the elite talent to draft a quarterback, there are other NFL teams who enter the draft in need of a signal-caller. While the Redskins aren’t one of them, they could be willing to surrender the second overall pick via trade to a team that is. Given that Washington has so many positional needs across the roster, there is the possibility that the team would prefer to trade back, acquiring more picks as a result and look to draft with a quantity over quality mentality.
Teams like the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers (owners of picks five and six, respectively) still have questions surrounding the quarterback position heading into next year. Could one of them be willing to trade up to ensure that they land the top passer on their board? The rumors are bound to only grow louder as the draft approaches.
Although the plus-money on Young to be drafted at pick three or later is tempting, I’m just not able to advise pulling the trigger. With buzz that many teams, including the Dolphins, are concerned about quarterback prospect Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history, the likelihood of a team trading away a hefty amount of draft capital to take either him or Justin Herbert second overall seems increasingly unlikely. Add in that the Redskins shouldn’t accept anything less than a haul for the pick knowing Young is the alternative and the UNDER 2.5 is the play for me.